Benefits of Fibrocytes In Cancer Care

 Dr. Hank van Deventer, a UNC Lineberger cancer researcher, discovered rare cells named fibrocytes may also aid tumor growth. Fibrocytes bind together to form connective tissues and assist in healing wounds. When fibrocytes were added to tumor cells in the lab, tumors began to grow. Once Dr. van Deventer found the link between fibrocytes and cancer, he realized these rare cells may provide a new target for cancer therapy.

Dr. van Deventer’s realization is the first step in developing treatments to fight cancers such as breast cancer, lung cancer and prostate cancer with fibrocytes. More research needs to be done to show the role fibrocytes can play in cancer care. Dr. van Deventer needs $5,000 to help develop a mouse model - mice that lack fibrocytes - to help move his discovery and research forward and learn how fibrocytes may help prevent tumor growth. Dr. van Deventer's quest is to move fibrocyte research from the lab to an effective treatment for cancer patients.

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